Nectalis 3 - Journal & Livre de bord
Thursday, 24 November 2011 08:34

Carte de la campagne Nectalis 3

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Nectalis 2 - Journal & Livre de bord
Thursday, 24 November 2011 08:34

Carte de la seconde campagne Nectalis 2


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NECTALIS
Friday, 17 March 2017 00:00

 

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OFP-EMA team is embarking on a new adventure: NECTALIS

 

What is NECTALIS?

NECTALIS is a contraction of NECTON which refers to the aquatic organisms able to actively swim in the water column (contrasted with plankton which passively drifts) and ALIS which is the name of the IRD (French Research Institute for Development) research boat based in Noumea, New Caledonia.

alis
© IRD/C.Maes - N/O ALIS, 28-m long research boat embarking 12 crew members and 6 scientists

NECTALIS is a joint scientific cruise between SPC and IRD (French Research Institute for Development) which will study the mid-trophic levels of the pelagic (offshore) ecosystem: zooplankton and micronekton (small fish, shrimps and squids that compose tuna diet).

 

The goal of the project

Outcomes of this research cruise will be particularly important for Pacific Island Countries and Territories exploiting tuna resources by bringing more confidence in model-derived predictions on tuna movement and fishing and environmental impact on the ecosystem. Models are of major importance in the provision of information to decision makers. Our goal is to improve our understanding of spatio-temporal distribution and behaviours of the tuna preys (zooplankton and micronekton) to ultimately better understand tuna-environment-fishing relationships.

Zooplankton and micronekton are the link between physical/chemical factors of the sea water which influence their distribution and abundance, and tuna which are their predators. Zooplankton and micronekton parts of the ecosystem models are particularly uncertain, mainly because very little direct observations exist to validate the models. During the NECTALIS cruises we propose to fill this gap in observation to help validating ecosystem models.

To characterize physico-chemical conditions and primary production, we will measure temperature, salinity, oxygen, fluorescence, light, currents, nutrients, photosynthetic pigments, phytoplankton abundance, primary production, phytoplanktonic communities. Secondary production (zooplankton and micronekton) will be measured with acoustic (TAPS, S-ADCP, L-ADCP, SIMRAD) and net sampling of zooplankton and micronekton.

  • Chauliodus sloani head with its large teeth
    Chauliodus sloani head with its large teeth
  • Eustomias sp. head showing a large chin barb with luminescent organ
    Eustomias sp. head showing a large chin barb with luminescent organ
  • Masturus lanceolatus (sunfish) larvae
    Masturus lanceolatus (sunfish) larvae
  • Oplophorus gracilirostris deep shrimp
    Oplophorus gracilirostris deep shrimp
  • Sternoptyx pseudobscura (hatchetfish)
    Sternoptyx pseudobscura (hatchetfish)
  • Phronima sp.
    Phronima sp.

Examples of micronekton organisms caught during Nectalis 1.

 

The cruises

Two multidisciplinary cruises have been already conducted to collect sea water physical and chemical data as well as data on zooplankton and micronekton. The 2 cruises will occur during cold (July-August) and warm (November-December) season when environmental conditions are different.

The first cruise, NECTALIS-1, departed on July 30, 2011 from Noumea, New Caledonia onboard N/O Alis for a 3-week campaign in New Caledonia EEZ with 29 sampling sites scheduled

nectalis_sm
Cruise plan of the NECTALIS project with 29 sampling site in New Caledonia EEZ
which offers contrasting environmental conditions between cold and warm season

After a first successful cruise in July-August 2011 during the cold season ,scientists embarked again again onboard the IRD R/V Alis for Nectalis 2 in November-December 2011 during the warm season. They followed following the same cruise plan to be able to compare results with Nectalis 1 and observe the impact of season on temperature, currents, phytoplankton production, zooplankton and micronekton.

nectalis2-cruiseplanb_bathy
NECTALIS 2 cruise plan with 23 sampling site in New Caledonia EEZ

Nectalis 3 cruise is a follow up of Nectalis 1 and 2 conducted on the same topic in 2011 in the northern part of the New Caledonia EEZ. A fourth cruise, Nectalis 4, will be undertaken in 2015 to assess the impact of the cold season on the distribution of the marine organisms.

The Nectalis 3 cruise departed on the 22th of November 2014:

nectalis3_cruise_plan_smNECTALIS 3 cruise plan with 23 sampling site in New Caledonia EEZ and in the High Seas

Nectalis the fourth is probably the last cruise of this fantastic adventure which explored the deep and surface offshore waters of New Caledonia. After three successful cruises in the northern and southern western part of the EEZ, we are completing our spatial exploration of the pelagic waters of New Caledonia by heading towards the south-eastern part of the EEZ. Our goal this time, on top of extending the spatial coverage of our work, is to specifically target eddies to try and understand their influence of the physical, chemical and biological components of the ecosystem.

The Nectalis 1 team

Captain Jean-Francois Barazer will make sure the cruise go smoothly, and with his eleven crew members he will deploy all the instruments and gears required for data and sample collection.

Specialists in dynamic, acoustic, biogeochemistry, oceanography, biology and fisheries coming from different research institutions will collect, analyse and model observations on the mid-trophic levels.

Dr Valerie Allain, fisheries research scientist (ecosystem analyses) within the Ecosystem Monitoring and Analyses section of the SPC-OFP will be scientific cruise leader with Dr Christophe Menkes from IRD.

Scientist Working area
Valerie Allain Micronekton
Christophe Menkes Oceanography
Martine Rodier Chemistry and phytoplankton
Houssem Smeti Zooplankton
Erwan Josse Acoustics
Francis Gallois Electronic equipment

 

The Nectalis 2 team

This second cruise will still be leaded by Captain Jean-Francois Barazer; the composition of the crew (11 members) has slightly changed but will be as efficient as Nectalis 1 crew, no doubt about that!

Two members of the scientific team have changed too, we are welcoming a new zooplankton specialist and a new acoustician but the team is equally multi-disciplinary. It is worth noting that half of the scientific team is composed of ladies; it is not so often!

Another important information about the team is that Nectalis 2 is the last cruise on the R/V Alis for Francis Gallois. After 30 years of hard work on research vessels, Francis will retire soon, so Nectalis 2 is a very special cruise for him and for us.

Same cruise leaders will make sure that we obtain a lot of data: Dr Valerie Allain, fisheries research scientist (ecosystem analyses) within the Ecosystem Monitoring and Analyses section of the SPC-OFP and Dr Christophe Menkes, oceanographer from IRD LOCEAN team

Scientist Working area
Valerie Allain Micronekton
Christophe Menkes Oceanography
Martine Rodier Chemistry and phytoplankton
Marc Pagano
Zooplankton
Anne Lebourges-Dhaussy
Acoustics
Francis Gallois Electronic equipment

 

team_1
Crew members and scientists working on the deck, getting prepared to launch the zooplankton net during Nectalis 1; Francis Gallois at the foreground (photo by Steve, Alis crew member)

 

Beyond the cruises

These cruises will be complemented by physical, chemical and biogeochemical modelling, by tuna diet study and by modelling of the pelagic ecosystem including several sub-models involving a large team of scientists from SPC and IRD.

 

Funding

Cruises are funded by IRD, LEFE/CYBER, ADECAL/ZONECO

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